Primary sectors like Forestry, Fisheries and Agriculture that also have strategic advantage like tourism cannot be abandoned, a regional forum was informed this afternoon.
Virtually closing the two-day SIDS Solution Forum, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy said the primary sectors required low levels of skills, could produce primary goods which could be manufactured into products and utilized the most abundantly available factors intensively.
The demand for output, he said, from these sectors would never fall and this demand driven approach to boost extraction, production and supply would work.
“Our Agriculture sector requires mechanization and technology introduction to raise efficiency and productivity as well as address some of the critical binding constraints such as labor shortages,” the Minister said.
“We need to work hard towards changing mindset and introducing organic fertilisers so that we can differentiate our produce in the export market and acquire much higher returns.”
With respect to Fisheries, Dr Reddy said the large endowment of EEZ amongst most SIDS placed the region in a strategic position for supply of blue foods.
He added, there was a need to collectively mobilise resources to protect the EEZ from unsustainable practices.
“We cannot break the ranks and allow our EEZ to be exploited as it will affect us all given the migratory nature of ocean species.”
In relation to Forestry, the Minister informed the Forum that resources must be utilized for growth and development.
He said, the current generation needed improvement in their quality of life.
“We must all forge a SIDS movement for re-planting and expansion of our genetic biodiversity. Whenever we deal with resource extraction we must address the issue of intergenerational equity.”